Klansman Trial: Outstanding Documents Raises Suspicion

During the Klansman Trial on November 22, Chief Justice Bryan Sykes raised concern about outstanding documents from the prosecution while the defendants spoke openly, protesting what they see as unfair treatment from court officers.

The prosecution’s failure to produce a scene of crime photographs for two murder counts on the indictment has raised suspicion. The murders in question are that of an unknown Rastaman in January 2018 and the murder of a man identified as Doolie in August 2017. In Doolie’s case, the prosecution says they do not have the photographs but there are three alleged eyewitnesses lined up to corroborate the evidence given, implicating the alleged gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ and three other defendants. Chief Justice Bryan Sykes questioned why there were no police investigators to verify the details, and if standard procedures were followed; the prosecution admits that things were not seamlessly done.

Chief Justice Sykes went further by asking for post-mortem pictures, which the prosecution also did not have. In the case of the unknown Rastaman, no scene of crime photographs are available and no witnesses to testify. According to the prosecution the investigator who took the pictures retired and migrated, and the police database is still being searched.

Justice Sykes appeared puzzled as he asked, “there is no one, no witness, no relative, no police, no nothing to support the witness’ claims…” In response, the prosecution gave a short answer, “no”, as the only photograph available they say is the one used and signed by the witness to identify the deceased man earlier this year. The prosecution maintains that the witness saw the man on the day before he was killed. But Justice Sykes says there is not sufficient evidence to suggest that the witness knew the deceased man to identify him before. 

The defendants held their hands up in protest.

The complaints are that other detainees that are not part of the trial are allowed to get food, such as KFC from the outside. They complained that the food provided by the state is cold, tasteless and in some instances, they don’t eat any at all.

The alleged gang leader, Blackman, said he is on a special diet posited that the food was hard to digest.

Some of the defendants say they have fallen ill after eating the food, some say they have to take medications, or that they are vegetarians.  As of Tuesday, lunchtime will be extended and their relatives will be allowed to take food.

The case against alleged gang leader Andre ‘Blackman’ Bryan and his 32 co-accused continues; they are all charged for being part of a criminal organization, the one don faction of the Klansman gang as well as various criminal offenses, to include murder, conspiracy to murder and arson.